The 4 “Don’ts” For Marketing During a Pandemic

Los Alamitos, CA (May 29, 2020)

It seems like every update on Covid-19 brings another “don’t” into our lives. And it all began with don’t touch your face, followed by don’t forget to sanitize and wash your hands for 20 seconds, and don’t stand too close to the person in front of you in the checkout line. But what are the “Don’ts” for marketers during this time? Read below. Knowing what not to do during a pandemic, can bring awareness to what you need to do.

DON’T go silent. Stay present, active and relevant in the market place. By staying active, even if at a lower frequency, you are portraying leadership and stability of your company. Whether you’re having to shift your regular operations or your business is running like normal, letting your customers and audience know where you stand is imperative so they don’t assume anything. Once you’ve shared with your audience where your company stands during the pandemic, start sharing relevant content that’s educational, entertaining or even promotional (as long as it’s not insensitive and can be helpful.) 

DON’T be “tone-deaf” to your consumers. Do you have content already written and scheduled? Go back and look at the contents of these campaigns. Ask yourself, “If this was published right now, would it come off as insensitive?” Marketing and advertising that tries to ignore the fact that there is a global crisis or tries to make light of it, are very likely to turn off their audience. Approach your marketing with a sensitivity to how it will be read and construed by those reading it based upon what their experience is at the moment.

DON’T be desperate. During this time, nothing turns off your consumers more than an overly ‘salesy’ and desperate ploy to separate them from their hard-earned cash.  Especially in the midst of economic turmoil. Now is the time for businesses to start working on redefining customer experience.  If your marketing and communications seem self-serving, you will do the complete opposite of retaining current clients or attracting new ones. (Read “Redefining Customer Experience During an Economic Crisis” for tips from the experts)

DON’T panic. The worst thing you can do at a time like this is respond out of fear or distress. It will lead to emotional decisions that could have detrimental impact on your business. The actions you take now for your business will impact how things look when you’re on the other side of this pandemic. As an initial step, educate yourself on the current environment and identify your company’s current stance within that environment. Are you accepting new business? Pivoting to offer a new product or service? Determining this will help drive your strategy and overall approach.  Work with your team to discuss solutions and communicate key messages. It’s imperative that all departments are in alignment with the messaging during this time. Once your marketing message is established, brainstorm strategies for effectively communicating it to your consumers despite social distancing, shelter-in-place and quarantine situations. History has shown us, businesses that approach times of market uncertainty in a positive, and maybe even slightly aggressive manner, will reap huge benefits.

Now that we’ve shed some light on what not to do as a marketer during a pandemic, don’t forget it. In summary here’s what you should be implementing: constantly educating yourself on the current environment, being open to alternative ways of meeting goals, shifting your marketing voice and taking advantage of a less crowded marketing space. Above all else, provide value.

sources: – “Brand Distancing: The Dos and Don’ts of Marketing During A Pandemic”, – “Marketing During a Pandemic: Four Big Don’ts”, – “So You’re a Marketer during a Pandemic…What NOT do [Plus, 4 Tacticts to do Now]”

Media Contact:
Ofa Pousima
Marketing Manager